Fritto Misto

Fritto Misto

Fritto misto is an Italian dish of various foods like vegetables, seafood, and herbs fried in a very light batter. This dish is perfect for preparing ahead of time and frying for guests as they arrive and get settled with drinks like Prosecco. You can easily fry in batches so the fritto misto is always warm for you and your guests. Sprinkle it with salt immediately after frying and try serving with a delicious garlic aioli. If you have smoked sea salt that would be a delicious addition instead of regular salt. If you’d like to spice things up a bit, try adding one tablespoon of Calabrian chili paste to the batter.

Get creative with vegetables if you like! Try using eggplant, baby bok choy, and a variety of herbs. If you’re not a fan of shrimp you could use any kind of white fish. Another delicious addition would be halloumi cheese, which is firm enough to stand up to the frying and is a cheesy and delicious addition to your fritto misto. Regardless of what you choose to use, this is a simple way to impress guests with your frying abilities or to keep them busy while you're finishing up the rest of the meal!

“The fritto misto was colorful and delicious, and fairly easy to prepare. I liked the light batter, and the herbs along with the vegetables. I used squid tentacles and sliced some of the squid bodies into rings. The lemon slices add fabulous flavor to all of the ingredients.” —Diana Rattray

fritto misto/tester image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt, more as needed

  • 2 cups club soda, very cold

  • 2 small summer squash, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed and cut into small florets

  • 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced

  • 4 ounces large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halved lengthwise

  • 4 ounces baby octopus tentacles or squid

  • 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaves with tender stems

  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    frito misto ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat about 2-inches of oil to 350 F. 

    large dutch oven with oil heating

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk in the club soda slowly, careful not to overmix. The mixture will be slightly lumpy.

    frito misto batter in bowl with whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Dip a quarter of the vegetables, seafood, lemon, and herbs into the batter, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl.

    battering the frito misto ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Fry, turning to cook evenly and separating as needed in the oil, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes.

    frito misto ingredients frying in pot of oil

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve hot.

    fried frito misto pieces draining on a rack set over a baking sheet lined with paper towel

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Tips

Keep and eye on your deep-fry thermometer. If the oil drops too low, give it time to return to 350 F before adding a new batch.

Recipe Variations

  • A sweet version of this dish is also a great option. Try using mango, apples, or berries and sprinkling with a dusting of powdered sugar then serve with a side of chocolate or caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
  • If you don't have squid, double the shrimp or replace the squid with bay scallops, shucked oysters or mussels, or firm white fish cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes.

Storage

  • Refrigerate leftover fritto misto in an airtight container and consume within 3 days.
  • To freeze leftover fritto mixture, transfer it to a freezer container or zip-close freezer bag. Label with the name and date and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat leftover fritto misto on a rack in a rimmed baking pan. Heat the fritto misto in a preheated 350 F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until hot.

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